Hampton Sits Atop Inaugural BoxToRow.com/BASN Football Poll

By Tony McClean
Updated: September 11, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — While the inaugural BoxToRow.com/BASN HBCU Top 10 Football Poll may have a few surprises, the team sitting atop the poll shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone in the gridiron world.

A collaboration between DWCommunications, LLC and the Black Athlete Sports Network, the newest black college football poll makes its debut today with a splash and a familiar face at the start.

The Hampton University Pirates, three-time defending champions of the MEAC, are this week’s No. 1 team in the newest BTRC/BASN poll. Joe Taylor’s bunch (1-0) received four first-place votes in the media poll and 66 total points.

MEAC foe Delaware State (2-0) is second followed by defending SWAC champion Alabama A&M (2-0) and South Carolina State (1-1) with Alabama State (2-0) rounding out the top five. AAMU and SCSU were the only other schools to receive first-place votes.

Despite not being picked to repeat in the league’s preseason poll, Hampton’s 31-24 opening victory against league rival Howard Saturday was enough to convince the pollsters. Quarterback T.J. Mitchell threw three touchdown passes, including two during a three-minute span in the fourth quarter to give the Pirates their 11th straight win over the Bison.

The second-ranked Hornets also defeated a league foe to remain undefeated as they opened their season with back-to-back wins for the third straight year. Delaware State went down to Tallahassee last Saturday to defeat Florida A&M 20-7.

DSU has now won three in a row over Florida A&M for the first time in the history of the series, which began in 1977. Standout receiver Shareer McBride had five catches for 57 yards in the contest. He is now tied with Albert Horsey (1997-00) for the school’s record with 160 career catches.

The poll’s second five has Southern (2-0) at number six, SIAC rivals Tuskegee (1-0) and Albany State (2-1) seventh and eighth, Virginia Union is ninth, and Prairie View A&M (2-0) rounds out the poll at No. 10.

The Panthers used two blocked punts, which were both returned for touchdowns by defensive back Val Ford, to defeat North Carolina A&T 22-7 in the Angel City Classic Saturday at Los Angeles.

PVAM handed the Aggies their 18th consecutive loss dating back to October of 2005. Henry Frazier’s squad will travel to Baton Rouge Saturday night to face off against the sixth-ranked Jaguars.

It will be the home opener for Pete Richardson’s crew who have defeated Florida A&M (33-27 in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge at Birmingham) and Mississippi Valley State (23-6 in the Chicago Classic at Soldier Field) in their two road starts.

Other key games this weekend matching team’s from the BTRC/BASN poll include No. 1 Hampton at North Carolina A&T, No. 2 Delaware State at Kent State, No. 3 Alabama State hosting Mississippi Valley State and No. 6 Alabama State visiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

BOXtoROW.COM/BASN HBCU TOP 10 FOOTBALL POLL (Records through September 9) School W-L Pts 1. Hampton (4) 1-0 66 2. Delaware State 2-0 54 3. Alabama A&M (2) 2-0 53 4. South Carolina State (1) 1-1 42 5. Alabama State 2-0 39 6. Southern 2-0 33 7. Tuskegee 1-0 25 8. Albany State 2-1 14 9. Virginia Union 2-0 13 10. Prairie View A&M 2-0 10 (1st place votes in parentheses) Others receiving votes: North Carolina Central (2-1) 7, Grambling State (1-1) 6, Florida A&M (0-2) 6, Jackson State (0-2) 5, Elizabeth City (0-2) 4, Tennessee State (1-1) 3, Morgan State (1-1) 1, Mississippi Valley State (1-1) 1.